Author: Adam Heppell
Date: Tuesday 16th February 2021
Self-isolation is one of those terms we have become increasingly used to hearing. But what does it actually mean? Did you know that failure to isolate could result in a fine? Do you know the guidelines and what to do if you or somebody in your bubble gets infected with coronavirus?
It may be difficult for some people to separate themselves from others in their household. Not all these measures will be possible if you are living with children or have caring responsibilities.
What is Self-Isolation?
If just one person tests positive for Covid-19, an entire household must stay at home. A period of isolation lasts for 10 days and will greatly reduce the risk of the household passing on the infection. One can only leave the house for medical care or to get a covid test. Try to book a delivery for your food or arrange for a neighbour to shop for you while leaving it outside to collect. There may also be shopping help in your community, contact your local authority for more information.
Although positive news is coming regarding vaccinations, now is not the time to get complacent. It is essential that we stick to government guidance. Here are a few self-isolation tips.
For many people coronavirus is a mild condition that will pass. There is an ever-growing list of symptoms and you may not have the virus. Keep track of your symptoms and compare them with known signs of covid infection. If you are in any doubt, get a test, especially if you are forced to self-isolate.
Keep your distance, two metres or more. Designate set times to be in certain rooms. If a covid infection is present, ensure that the person is restricted to certain parts of the house. A separate bedroom and bathroom is recommended. The person should stay there at all times. Nobody else should spend time in that room. When preparing food for a person, leave it outside the door for them to collect. If a person is confined to bed, approach them only when wearing a mask to minimise infection for yourself.
Remember that a person may still be infectious even if they are feeling better. People who have COVID-19 can infect others from around two days before symptoms start, and for up to 10 days after. They may also be asymptomatic. Get another test at the end of isolation to ensure that they are clear. Do not rely on immunity if a household member has had coronavirus.
Fresh air will help eliminate the infection. If it is too cold, be selective when to open windows or sit further away. It is better to keep the windows open even if you have to put the heating on for longer.
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, even if your hands aren’t visibly dirty. COVID-19 spreads from person to person through small droplets and direct contact. Every surface or belongings touched by an infected person must be thoroughly cleaned. Do not share crockery or cutlery. A person should use disposable tissue where possible and separate towels. Laundry should be washed at recommended temperature settings. Wear face masks indoors. This may be particularly important if you are shielding a clinically vulnerable person.
Use Trusted Sources
Covid rules are in a constant state of flux, keep up to date with developments. Check your local council website for the latest news in your area. Watch the government press conferences and scientific advice. Download the Covid-19 app and check the NHS website for the latest symptoms. Avoid fake advice and conspiracy theorists spreading falsehoods online.
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